Sacrifices of Parenting
I Take Thee, My Children, to Honor and Love.
Children are miracles. Some people spend a fortune to have them, and some spend a fortune to adopt them. Some people just give up, and wish that a miracle was given to them. Some people don't even want kids and either end up with them or don't and live happily ever after. None of them should be judged for that, and none of them are any less of a good person. Fortunately, we live in a world where we have those options
I never wanted children. I looked at children, and I was annoyed by them. I would even say I hated them. They yell, they misbehave, the smell funny. There was nothing appealing about children at all. As if to prove to me children weren't as horrible as I thought, I ended up pregnant. Sure it was unplanned, and sure it threw me off my game of "not giving a crap". Now I had to think about a future. I toyed around with leaving and going to an art school, which now was going to be out of the picture. I knew what I needed to do: I was going to work my butt off and do whatever this child needs. So I did. I worked a lot. Most days I would be at work for 5 a.m and I wouldn't leave until 9 or 10 at night. His father wasn't going to support us, and someone had to. Sure, I would've loved to stay at home with the baby. It wasn't realistic though. I had bills and responsibilities. I was a parent now, and even though I was still a teenager, responsibilities mean sacrifices. And that means I didn't get around to play videogames or go out whenever I wanted. I was able to watch my friends go off to college or to be able to live their child free lives. I was jealous.
It didn't seem fair that I was slaving away at a job that made me miserable while people did whatever they wanted because they didn't have a care in the world. I dreamed that I was at a college dorm, sculpting out clay or writing or designing things. I dreamed that I was in a studio apartment in the city, writing for a newspaper or writing best selling novels. I dreamed that I could go out and do whatever I wanted, because that was what a teenager or college aged person did. I wasn't though; I was now an adult and I needed to act like it.
Now, I am a mother of 2 that's a few months shy of 30. I'm not where I thought I wanted to be, but I'm where I'm supposed to be. My husband works hard and often longer hours to allow me to follow my dreams and stay home with the children while trying to break through as a writer. I'm an adult that spends half my day chasing children, playing tutor, and balancing budgets. My previous life allows me to appreciate being able to stay home with the family. My previous life makes me appreciate how hard my husband works. My previous life make me appreciate that hard work does pay off, and while sometimes I think I missed out on a normal passage into adulthood, I don't think I'm doing too poorly. I'm an adult, and I enjoy my responsibilities.
I Have Migraine
"Not now, I have a migraine." I placed my head on my hands while leaning against the counter in the kitchen.
"You have a migraine? I know, it's named 'all the boys in the family' isn't it?" My son laughed.
I started to laugh. It's true, I'm pretty sure my children and husband are the causes of 99% of my migraines. I realized quickly that while I can talk about how children are responsibilities that need to be attended to, I never spoke about the ruin they cause to both your body and your soul. So for humor's sake, I should mention them.
- Oh those stretch marks. These are like badges of honor. You, ma'am, have brought a child into this world. As a repayment, you get stretch marks in places you didn't know could have stretch marks. They are all over. They look like you've gotten some bad skin disease that's eating away at you. Don't worry, when you lose the baby weight, they aren't noticeable. Sorry, if you lose the weight.
- Speaking of which, weight. Remember when you weighed 100lbs soaking wet? Sure you do. After your first baby, it seemed like no time flat you got back to that. You bragged about it, you made sure everyone knew about it. I did. Every first time mom that's lucky enough to have this occur does. Remember when you bragged about how you lost all the weight the first time around while you're pregnant with your second or third or more? Sure you do, and when you realized that you gained more quickly the second time and that you lose it slower the second time, you kick yourself for bragging about it. Now, you're trying every diet you can try while nursing hoping that soon you'll have the energy to exercise. Sorry, the time and energy to exercise. I look at my persistent pudge now... karma is a bitch.
- Nursing sucks the life out of you... literally? There was a joke amongst my friends that they would high five my oldest son because before him I wasn't exactly a large chested person, but after him I jumped from a B to a nice C. With my first son being formula fed, I wasn't prepared for the disaster that became my "ladies" after providing breastmilk to my baby. Even now, I look down at them with sadness hoping that maybe they'll return to their former glory. They won't though, I'm a realist and I know that. For rich people, this is where "augmentation" comes in. For me, this is where after this painful process of weaning occurs, I will make a trip to Victoria's Secret to make up for nature's failure.
- Yes, my ____ does hurt again. "Give mommy a minute". "Let mommy rest". Recognize those words in your voice? What mother doesn't. Children bring migraines, back aches, and all those lovely germs they come into contact with. More often than not, something will hurt and you're not going to be sure if it's age or being a parent or both.
- They stitch you where?! I remember when my first son was born, the doctor informed me that I needed stitches. I looked at my mother and asked, "what could they possibly need to stitch?" I found out the hard way, and it was a painful lesson. When my second one was born, my husband had the same question, though he watched in horror when he found out the answer. That is a pain that is more indescribable than even childbirth itself. It stays with you a while, and it's a painful stay while it lasts. All in a day's work of bringing a child that will hate you in 15 years into this world.
- The smiles and laughs. Through everything, you have a life that you're responsible for. No matter how you got here, I'm sure you're as grateful as I am that you did get here and made it here alive. Now, are we going to make it out alive?